On My Way to DrupalCon!
As you may have heard, Drupal's biggest annual event starts next week. This year's North American DrupalCon will draw an expected crowd over over 3000 attendees, and offer something for a wide variety of Drupalers and future Drupalers, as well as web developers and designers in general. I'm very excited about next week's event, as I believe it will offer some fantastic programming options, as well as provide a fitting venue to celebrate Drupal's 10th year.
As Drupal adoption and community participation continue to grow, the DrupalCon event has necessarily grown with the project and community. An event of this scope must satisfy not only the core Drupal developers, many of whom have been involved with the project for quite a few years, but also provide options for those new to Drupal, those evaluating Drupal, as well as the non-developer business audience. It's a tall order, but after speaking with one one of DrupalCon Chicago's organizers, George DeMet, Founder and CEO of Palantir, I have some pretty high expectations.
This year's event will include more peripheral events, which should cater to a wider audience than previous DrupalCons. For the first time, the expo portion of the event will feature a full day stage, and have a dedicated, separate space. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the overall feel of the event, but I do get the impression that there is emphasis on catering to a more business-oriented audience that may be used to more structured conferences and trade shows. There is a dedicated community track as well, which should help retain at least some of the intimate feel of a community-oriented event.
With the recent release of Drupal 7, and with some recent interesting moves within the Drupal community, it is certainly a fun time to get together with Drupalers. It's also a great time to get involved with the Drupal community if you are a LAMP developer looking for work. The demand for Drupal talent continues to grow, and with tons of content aimed at getting developers up to speed with Drupal 7, I'm thinking DrupalCon may be a pretty great place to be if you've been hit by the rough economic times we're all most likely still experiencing.
I am particularly interested to hear more about what the great minds at Phase2 Technology are up to. Their recent acquisition of Open Atrium, the Drupal-based intranet tool, has further legitimized Drupal as a product platform, and may prove to be yet another avenue for increased Drupal adoption in enterprise environments. I'm a bit of a fan of theirs, so I am anxious to see what they have on the horizon.
There is much to look forward to next week, and if you play your cards right, you might even get an autographed copy of this month's Linux Journal from Webchick herself! There's even a Lullabot-sponsored fashion show. Seriously, what's not to love about DrupalCon Chicago? I'm excited, and I hope to see many of you there!